March 2018 Newsletter
The March and April newsletters are dedicated to the details of the application starting with the Experience Section and Letters of Recommendation in March followed by the Personal Statement in April.
If you are applying to medical school this summer, March is the ideal time to organize the administrative components of your application. It all starts with itemizing your experiences then writing a brief description (700 characters) for each entry. This will help you narrow down topics in preparation for writing your personal statement.
MCAT: Register for the MCAT ASAP. Seats are filling up quickly for spring and summer dates.
March 29: Appalachian State University Health Professions Fair (6-8pm) in Boone, NC.
March 17: GoDental Recruitment Event in Orlando, FL (10:30 - 3pm). Meet representatives from 50 Dental Schools. Free event but please register.
April 24: Diversity Healthcare Virtual Fair (11-3pm ET).
April 28: Pathways: Premed Student Workshop and Recruitment Fair in Orlando, FL (12:30 - 4pm). Free but students need to register.
April 30: Students with multiple medical school acceptances must select just one school to attend.
May 2: 2019 AMCAS Application Opens
Work/Activities Section: Document your Experiences in Resume Format or Excel Spreadsheet
A resume or spreadsheet is a good place to start documenting your experiences, achievements, publications and awards. The short bullet points and descriptions will form the framework of the experiences section of your application. This will be a running document that you will keep updating over the years. It can be modified and shortened for a job or an internship application. Write down EVERYTHING you have done including paid jobs at Starbucks or Target, short term volunteer work, awards, prizes, even sports accomplishments, talents and study abroad experiences. Once you apply, you can edit the document down to 15 significant entries.
This document serves two main purposes:
- To catalogue your experiences and collect in one place the concrete details of the experience dates, hours and contact information. When you apply for internships or create a resume, you can pull from these details and tailor the information to the specific purpose (internship, research application or job).
- It provides a visual model for you to see your strengths and weakness as you approach the application to medical school. If you are weak in the clinical area, for example, then you will clearly see this hole in your experiences. It will also allow you to see relationships between your experiences. For example, you may have taken 4 Spanish classes, then you studied abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, and upon your return you used your Spanish in an underserved clinic and translated for patients. This is an EXCELLENT way to showcase your talents!
Information You Need to Write in Your Resume or Spreadsheet:
- Experience Type (Volunteer, Community Service, Medical, Research, Leadership, Teaching, Work, Study Abroad, Work Abroad)
- Experience Name, Dates, Total Number of Hours (do your best at estimating the total hours worked)
- Contact Name, Title, Email
- Organization Name, City, State
- Description (Max. 700 characters)
- For the application to medical school you can pick 3 "Most Meaningful" experiences out of the 15 you list. 1325 additional characters are required if you select an entry as "Most Meaningful." The 1325 are in addition to the 700 already required for the description.
- After each entry, select one of the following competencies that you feel you have mastered/acquired from this experience. You may select more than one. (This list was taken from the AAMC Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students.) This is not required for the application but it will help you categorize which competencies you have mastered and which you still need to work on.
- Reliability and Dependability
- Resilience and Adaptability
- Capacity for Improvement
- Critical Thinking
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Scientific Inquiry
- Social Skills
- Cultural Competence
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Letters are a very important part of your application to medical school. In order to get the best possible letters, you need to get yourself organized. March is an ideal time to compile the parts of your recommendation packet. Consider the following:
- Select faculty to write letters (aim for 4-5). Ask if they are willing to write you a STRONG letter. If so, tell them you will get back to them with details and a comprehensive packet in April. Tell them the deadline will be in mid-June and ask if this fits into their work, research and travel schedule. Late letters can delay your application so it is important that you give faculty ample notice and clear directions. (Make first contact with faculty in March.)
- Create a draft of your personal statement (March/April)
- Update Resume (March/April)
- Investigate how you are going to submit letters (Ex: Career Center, Committee Letter through school, Interfolio) (March)
- Visit Newport's SPRING SPRINT page under FEBRUARY/MARCH for details on how to submit letters. (March/April)
- Assemble packet and distribute to faculty. Schedule face-to-face meeting explaining details and answering any questions. (April/May).
- Letters due mid-June.
- AMCAS for Allopathic applicants
- AACOMAS for Osteopathic applicants
- TMDSAS for Texas Applicants (Medical, Veterinary, Dental)
- AAMC Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students